Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Tallahassee, FL

  • Published 2022/12/02

Get your dose of Florida sunshine in the beautiful city of Tallahassee, the capital of Florida.

Located in Leon County, this pretty and unexpected destination offers you a dose of the urban-suburban mix that will make you feel at home.

It invites you to explore historic sites, outdoor attractions, family-friendly spots, hiking trails, and more.

There are countless opportunities for you to immerse in the arts and culture that only Tallahassee has to offer.

Moreover, you don’t need to spend much to experience this town’s wonders fully.

Here are some free things to do in Tallahassee, Florida, while you are here!

Enjoy a Mini Escapade at Cascades Park

Sunset at Cascades Park

Felix Mizioznikov /

As one of the must-visit spots in Tallahassee, Cascades Park is a stunning 24-acre site to explore.

You can walk along the park trails, sit on the soft grass and enjoy a chill morning.

Bring your kids to the play areas and listen to their heartwarming giggles as they play with other kids.

While you’re here, stop by the Imagination Fountain, a fun water theme park with 73 jets.

The grounds of Cascades Park

Serenethos /

Cascades Park is also part of the National Register of Historic Places.

Besides sprawling greens and water features, Cascades Park also holds the story of Tallahassee’s early years.

Walk around and look for the Prime Meridian Marker, Smokey Hollow Commemoration, Korean War Memorial, and Community Remembrance Marker.

It tells stories and the history of Tallahassee from its discovery throughout the 1900s.

Korean war memorial at Cascades Park

Felix Mizioznikov /

Take a Breather at Lake Ella

Some days you need to take a walk, and one of the best places to do that in Tallahassee is Lake Ella.

This park is perfect for those who want fresh air and appreciate beautiful lake views while strolling or jogging around the loop.

Lake Ella is also great for couples and families to spend time together.

Besides a simple walk, you can watch the ducks and feed the geese along the lake.

It’s also nice to take a moment to pause and appreciate the beautiful fountains.

Moreover, Lake Ella also has a rich history, where many local black churches held baptisms.

It was also celebrated back in 1865 when slaves were released.

Walk amid Art at the Railroad Square Art District

Shops at Railroad Square Art District

Felix Mizioznikov /

Grab your cameras and take a walk around Tallahassee’s famous Railroad Square Art District.

Located downtown, this spot serves as the town’s art and entertainment hub, with many picturesque areas where you can take photos.

The colorful buildings, murals, and eclectic shops around the district will make stunning backdrops for your pictorial!

Folk art museum at Railroad Square Art District

Felix Mizioznikov /

You can also immerse yourself in the art scene by chatting quickly with store owners and locals.

Railroad Square Art District is between Florida State University and Florida A&M University.

Galleries at Railroad Square Art District

Felix Mizioznikov /

See the Flora, Fauna, and Lights at Dorothy B Oven Park

Visiting Dorothy B Oven Park is one of the most beautiful walks you’ll ever have in Tallahassee.

This six-acre park features a grand garden filled with flora and fauna like azaleas, camellias, palms, and other local flowers that are a sight to see, especially when they are all in bloom!

Most notable among the flowers are the camellias, recognized as some of the finest ones in town.

You can catch a glimpse and take photos by the Dorothy B Oven Park Main House, a traditional manor-style property.

Visit the park during the holiday season, where a display of 250,000 lights, musicals, shows, and other free events await you!

Explore the Campus of Florida State University

Exterior of Florida State University

setyo.nugroho /

You don’t have to be a student to explore the beautiful campus of Florida State University.

Established in 1851, this 489-acre campus is beautifully lined with oak trees, lush lawns, fountains, and monuments.

All you need is a guided map to walk around the campus.

Stop by the Unconquered Statue, stroll through Legacy Walk, or climb up Diffenbaugh Hill for a photo op!

Students walking around Florida State University

Bryan Pollard /

You can also chance upon football games and cheer along with the students.

Of course, Florida State University is more than just a beautiful campus.

It’s a well-respected institution with an international reputation in different degrees like the sciences and humanities.

Football game at Florida State University

Ruth Peterkin /

Check Out Local Creations at the Tallahassee Senior Center Art Gallery

The Tallahassee Senior Art Center is where you can find another taste of local art.

Featured are works from the town’s senior citizens who grab the opportunity to learn and create works of art under guidance from experienced professionals and instructors.

Art exhibits are held throughout the year, featuring selected pieces.

You can check out paintings, sculptures, and other media made by the senior citizens of Tallahassee.

Visiting the Tallahassee Senior Center Art Gallery lets you appreciate art more.

It will also make you realize that age does not limit learning and following your passion.

Take a Tour of the Florida Historic Capitol Museum

Exterior of the Florida Historic Capitol Museum

Felix Mizioznikov /

Inside the old capitol building of Tallahassee lies the Florida Historic Capitol Museum.

As one of Tallahassee’s most regarded architectural structures, the building is a sight for locals and tourists.

After restoring the building, it looked exactly as it did in 1902 with its beautiful stained glass dome and awnings.

Facade of the Florida Historic Capitol Museum

Feng Cheng /

Here you can spend an hour or two learning about the rich political history of the town through its self-guided tours and programs.

The former House and Senate Chambers, Supreme Court, and Governor’s Suite are also available to explore.

You can see the various displays of photographs, antiques, and other memorabilia on the floors and once you reach the top, take a snap of the iconic view!

Aerial view of the Florida Historic Capitol Museum

Felix Mizioznikov /

Exercise and Explore the Lafayette Park Fitness Trail

The Lafayette Park Fitness Trail is the perfect path for outdoor enthusiasts who want to be a little more active.

Here, you won’t need to spend a hefty sum for a gym membership to keep your fitness goals in check.

It has a parcourse whose obstacles will challenge your physical fitness.

Whether a beginner or an experienced athlete, you’ll have fun moving around the trail.

You can also hike or run along the beautiful trails of Lafayette Park.

Enjoy a Fairy Tale Moment at Lichgate on High Road

Giant oak tree at Lichgate on High Road

Andrew Schenker /

As a hidden gem in Tallahassee, Lichgate on High Road is a historical landmark that looks straight out of a fairy tale.

Marked by a giant moss-draped oak tree with branches that reach the sky and the ground, it’s the perfect spot for quiet contemplation and romantic rendezvous.

The tree dates back to the time of Shakespeare.

Another stunning feat is the Lichgate English Tudor Cottage, a timeless abode that looks as magical as the ones you read in story books.

A cabin at Lichgate on High Road

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are plenty of gardens to explore here, including the labyrinth and the stunning butterfly, perennial, and daffodil gardens.

So take a stroll and enjoy the scenery!

Lichgate on High Road was built by Dr. Laura Jepsen, a Florida State University English professor whose love for literature emanates from Lichgate.

Through her vision of building and preserving Florida’s example of 16th Century Tudor-style architecture, you can enjoy and experience a fairy tale getaway.

Appreciate Art at Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts

Located within the beautiful campus of Florida State University, the Museum of Fine Arts is home to a comprehensive collection of notable pieces.

It has modern and traditional artworks and pieces by famous artists and students of the university.

Besides its usual collection of over 6,000 objects, the Museum also holds exhibits that showcase paintings, sculptures, photography work, and more.

The Museum of Fine Arts is a great place to see and appreciate art trends and truly inspiring styles.

Take your time walking by the art pieces to appreciate the intricacies and meanings behind each one indeed.

Ride Your Bike at St. Marks Trail

Trees lining St. Marks Trail

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Get your bikes out and move your legs along the St. Marks Trail.

This 16-mile trail is an old railway spanning Florida’s first and longest-operating railroad.

Likewise, it is one of Florida’s most popular biking and hiking spots.

It was the first rail trail to be paved out of all of Florida’s greenways.

It allows you to go point to point from Tallahassee to the coastal community of St Marks, with several entry options.

Designated as a National Recreation Trail, the St. Marks Trail offers a scenic experience where you can pass by rural communities, parks, and other breathtaking views.

From being an avenue for cotton and textile shipments back in the 1900s, it’s now a must-visit trail for biking and hiking enthusiasts.

Walk Your Dog at JR Alford Greenway

Get your dog on a leash and walk or run along JR Alford Greenway.

This recreational park is one of the most popular places in Tallahassee for walking, running, biking, and even horseback riding.

The JR Alford Greenway contains 874 acres of green pasture with forested woodlands that comprise trails you can freely explore.

When walking with your dog, look after them so everyone in the park can have a clean, fun, and peaceful time!

If you have the chance, you can also look for the wooden boardwalk-styled bridge and take a couple of photos there.

Stroll around the Garden of Goodwood

Main house of the Garden of Goodwood

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Since the Goodwood Museum requires an admission fee, you can explore the glorious Garden at Goodwood instead.

Beyond a garden, this historical place is part of the National Register of Historic Places.

The 20-acre property is home to old live oaks and lush greens that are perfect for a picturesque walk.

You can also catch a glimpse and take a photo by the main house, a grand sight that has seen history unfold.

The Goodwood Garden is a great place to visit if you want a relaxing day out.

Walk under the Trees at Miccosukee Greenway Trail

Take a glimpse of the sprawling canopy of trees at the Miccosukee Greenway Trail.

Whether you’re walking or riding a bike, it’s a marvel to see.

This 503-acre Miccosukee Greenway Trail is a Trust for Public Land project managed and maintained by Leon County.

It’s open to the public, and you’ll see open pastures and forested woodlands.

Slow down to capture and appreciate the grandeur and beauty of the whole area.

Slow down, take a deep breath, and enjoy the cool shade of the trees on the trail.

Play Like a Kid at Tom Brown Park

Playground at Tom Brown Park

Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you want to feel like a kid again, head to Tom Brown Park.

The multi-purpose park offers wide spaces for recreational activities, baseball and softball fields, and tennis courts.

It’s also a great place to walk on a warm sunny day.

Basketball court at Tom Brown Park

Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tom Brown Park is also the go-to destination for special events like the 4th of July Fireworks.

Its playgrounds and recreational spaces make it easy to feel like a kid again.

You’ll indeed have fun by simply spending time with your friends and family at Tom Brown Park.

Picnic shelter near the waters of Tom Brown Park

Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

When you have the itch to travel and explore a beautiful place without breaking the bank, you must visit Tallahassee!

Tallahassee will give you your dose of history, nature, and comfort that you can only find here.

From trails, parks, museums, art districts, and more, this town will leave you with a sense of wonder.

Check this list of the free things to do in Tallahassee, Florida, and you’ll have a trip to remember.

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